Are there any worthwhile Sirtfood snacks? Snacking feels like a word loaded with negative connotations, conjuring images of sugar-loaded confectionary or salt-laden savory products. The food industry knows only too well our weakness for all things sweet, salty, and high in fat, and conspires to ensure they are never far from eyeshot as we go about our daily lives, an ever-present temptation.
Even if you’re up for making a healthier choice, it’s far from clear-cut, when snacks marketed as ‘all natural’ or with ‘no added sugar’ can sometimes be as high in sugar as their junk food counterparts. The only difference is that the sugars occur within the naturally sweet ingredients they use rather than the act of adding sugar itself. Take a look at the label and you’ll soon see that there can be spectacular amounts of sugar hidden away in so-called healthy snacks in the form of honey, maple syrup, agave, and dried fruits (but read on for more about dates later), and so on. The upshot is the same – it’s still a high-sugar snack, just a whole lot more expensive.
As a result, snacks can often end up detracting from the nutritional quality of the diet, when they could actually be a chance to positively enhance it. So what should we be snacking on? Are they any Sirtfood snacks? There are a number of the top 20 Sirtfoods that can be used as the basis for healthy Sirtfood snacks.
Nuts have to be the archetypal nutritious snack food, loaded with ‘good’ unsaturated fats, plant protein, fiber, and a wealth of vitamins, minerals, and polyphenols. With credentials like that, it’s no wonder that regularly eating nuts slashes the risk of heart disease. And in complete contrast to other high-fat snacks, regularly eating nuts is linked to having a slimmer waistline, likely due to their powerful satiating effect. Walnuts, in particular, are a powerful sirtuin-activating food and a nice Sirtfood snack. Best of all nuts are handbag and office-desk-friendly.
Next in the snacking stakes, and the perfect partner to nuts, is dark chocolate (ideally with an 80-85% cocoa content). This is another top-20 Sirtfood. Cocoa contains powerful naturally occurring plant compounds, known as flavanols, which are now the subject of intensive scientific research for their health benefits, especially for cardiovascular health. In fact, combine a few squares of dark chocolate with a small handful of nuts and you have just about the most cardio-protective snack going. And just like nuts, this is a snack that will comfortably slot in a handbag or tuck
As part of the Sirtfood Diet these Dark Chocolate Bites are a firm family favorite as one of the nicest Sirtfood snacks. It combines a host of health-promoting polyphenols into an indulgent treat. Whilst Medjool dates are naturally very high in sugar (a staggering 66%!), eaten in moderation they actually have no noticeable blood sugar-raising effects and are actually linked to having less diabetes and heart disease, thanks to their exceptional polyphenol content. This makes them one of the healthiest options for conjuring up a sweet treat.
Dark Chocolate Bits Recipe-Sirtfood Snack
Makes 15–20 bites
30g dark chocolate (85 percent cocoa solids), broken into pieces; or cocoa nibs
250g Medjool dates, pitted
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
the scraped seeds of 1 vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla extract
1–2 tbsp water
Place the walnuts and chocolate in a food processor and process until you have a fine powder.
Add all the other ingredients except the water and blend until the mixture forms a ball. You may or may not have to add the water depending on the consistency of the mixture – you don’t want it to be too sticky.
Using your hands, form the mixture into bite-sized balls and refrigerate them in an airtight container for at least 1 hour before eating them. You could roll some of the balls in some more cocoa or desiccated coconut to achieve a different finish if you like. They will keep for up to 1 week in your fridge.